Innovation is the antidote to overcoming seemingly impossible challenges. It will ultimately conquer the clear and present danger presented by COVID-19 but what about the post-pandemic economy? What will that look like?
Previously peripheral ideas like universal basic income are now coming to the fore. New questions should also be asked about what we can learn from the lockdown. Where might this leave the built environment, for example? Is it an opportunity for reimagining what it does? With homeless people being given access – by some business owners – to hotels and other facilities, and many citizens now working from home, could we see a transition to new societal structures that make better use of buildings within the developed world, so the promise of leaving no-one behind can actually become a reality? Backed, perhaps, by universal basic income systems – and robust digital education platforms – that ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn skills fit for economies and communities transformed by the outbreak?
The COVID-19 Business Pivot Challenge from IDEO is planning for a future that will be anything but business as usual. This live challenge runs until 30 April – and it wants big ideas to the question: How might businesses of all kinds rapidly adapt to support the immediate needs of the COVID-19 response, and enable a more just and resilient future?
Five innovators will be selected to receive $10,000 seed funding from the Vodafone Americas Foundation.
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